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Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 101, Celtics 93

By Mike Mazzeo



Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo has said Joe Johnson’s health is the team’s biggest concern heading into the playoffs.

Johnson looked just fine on Wednesday night, scoring 20 points in the Nets’ 101-93 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

The 31-year-old shooting guard, who is trying to get over a heel injury, was averaging 12.7 points on 37.8 percent shooting in three games since returning to the lineup after missing the previous five games.

Johnson, who went 8-for-15 from the field, came in shooting just 36.3 percent in the second game of back-to-back sets, the worst field-goal percentage of any NBA player with at least 200 attempts.

Deron Williams added 29 points, 12 assists and four rebounds for the Nets, while Brook Lopez chipped in 21 points.

Brooklyn (46-32) reduced its magic number to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference to two games.

The Nets improved to 17-28 against teams with .500-or-better records (at time of game played). They won their season-series with Boston, 3-1. They came into the season having lost 17 of 19 to the Celtics.

NEW RECORD HOLDER: D-Will set a new franchise single-season record when he hit his 159th 3-pointer in the second quarter. Kerry Kittles set the old mark (158) in 1996-97.

CRASH OUT: Gerald Wallace suffered a left heel contusion in the second quarter and had to be helped into the locker room. He did not return. Wallace’s first-quarter putback dunk was his first field goal in three games. Keith Bogans (back) missed his second straight game.

CLOSING TIME: The Nets closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run and the second quarter on a 15-4 run. D-Will had 11 points in the second quarter. The Nets led by 10 at the half.

KG’S THIRD T: Kevin Garnett was called for a technical foul after he shoved Reggie Evans with 15.2 seconds left in the second quarter. Garnett also got tangled up with Kris Humphries with 8:47 remaining in the fourth quarter while the two fought for a loose ball. They appeared to exchange elbows. No call was made.

UP NEXT: Nets at Indiana Pacers on Friday at 7 p.m.